Let me start by saying that I was inducted into Kpop around September of 2009 (I’m good with dates) through SNSD’s Gee. Over the following months, I grew to listen to them more and more, and finally watched the SNSD & Suju duet SEOUL mv. It was then that I fell irrevocably in love (at first sight) with Kyuhyun. 2 hours later, I’d changed my profile picture on MSN Messenger and that was the beginning of a journey that’s continued for nearly 5 years. When Kpop’s saturation with new groups began to bother me, I staved off and watched dramas instead, which expanded to a love of J-dramas and Taiwanese dramas as well. In fact my current adoration for Nodame Cantabile would not exist hadn’t there been news about a Korean remake which I wouldn’t have known were I not a K-drama watcher which I wouldn’t have watched had I not met Suju. Super Junior has been one of the few constant things in my life for the past 5 years. And so, my heart dropped when I first heard the news.
What with the entire spell of groups breaking up left and right this felt almost like another domino, another part of my adolescence leaving me. But then I tried to view to rationally. Since when was marriage an event that induced heartache? And that’s when I really saw it. Honestly, it’s easy to pretend that these are men that do nothing but sing, dance, go on variety shows, and post amusing things on twitter. But that’s not the case. They’ve their own lives, their own loves and their own needs, sometimes separate from the career they’re in. It’s easy for fans to ignore that, viewing the persona on-screen as someone close to them, someone that’s a part of their own lives, someone whom they’re constantly entitled to see.
And I suppose that was my problem. For an instant, I wanted the rumours to be false.
“He can’t get married,” I thought. “He can’t.”
And I just wanted to go back in time to being 14, watching Suju during performances and variety shows. At time, when idols dated in secret (more than nowadays at any rate) and just performed on screen and allowed me to get my Suju-fix. No scandals, little chance of groups breaking up.
Don’t get me wrong, this feeling is/was neither obsession nor love, but Suju is/was an incredibly huge part of my life for the first time, and essentially the only thing anchoring me to the Kpop world. I’d long since tired of the money, sex, drugs mentality that characterizes US/UK entertainment in particular (not that all countries don’t do this but these places take it to incredible extremes), and the thought of Suju disbanding made me fell rudderless. I’d still watch K-Dramas, J-doramas, and Taiwanese dramas, but the enormous presence these 15 men have had in my life would vanish, leaving me with a gap void, that nothing (not even my writing) could fill.
But thinking on, I realized this feeling was pure selfishness, in that I didn’t want things to change for my sake not their. I would even have preferred Sungmin to not get married in order for my perfect little bubble to remain intact. And I felt disgusted with myself.
Suju has influenced my life tremendously, there’s no doubt about that. But they don’t know me, and hell, I’ve never met/seen them in person. They’re only a part of my life in the music they release, in the pictures adorning my wall, the quotes that spring to my mind when thinking of them, and the tiny snippets of their private lives that I see on social media. We’re essentially strangers. And I knew that from the start, yet they kept insisting that we were family. And so I believed them, because it was such a wonderful thing to believe in, such an easy ideal to keep. That millions of people around the world were connected by this single admiration, and love for a group of 13 men was awesome. The fact that I could go anywhere on the Internet where Kpop was being discussed and someone who liked them was awesome, considering how reticent I am in person as most people I meet rarely share my interests. I even formed my own delusions of grandeur, hitting it big with a publishing contract, rising to fame and proudly saying that Suju was a great influence on me. (And part of me even felt broken-hearted at the thought that this may not happen if Suju broke up, such was the extent of my irrationality). And I realized this wasn’t even about his marriage, but about Suju, about losing Suju.
So I was when I learned that Minnie would continue to promote with Suju. But doubts, remained. What if they broke up? what if? what if? And then I recalled Heechul’s famed quote:
“I am an entertainer, not your everything. You need to live your life happily.”
Again, these were things I already knew, that my irrational selfishness was stifling. So I took a deep breathe in. And out. In. And out. And thinking on that, my heart eased. I don’t know what’s going to come in the coming years, or hell, months. But I’m going to live my life happily, (and land that contract). God only knows, perhaps someday I will land that contract and fulfill that daydream of mine. Perhaps Suju will be the first of their kind to remain together past marriage. Perhaps I may have to say good-bye to a presence that has affected, influenced, and remained my life for so many years.
But instead of tears, and heartbreak, I’d rather settle for being grateful for the years I had, for the laughter and joy they brought me. Even if they’d no idea I existed. I suppose such is the nature of the famous, we all look to them in some way or another. Some are disdained, others are reviled, and yet others are adored. Not due to a lack of figures to love/hate in our lives, either. Perhaps we’re all just boats, tossing and turning in the choppy seas of life, trying to reach the shore. And they seem to be the fires by the boats moored on the other side, the beacons of those sailors that have already made it there. I suppose, we all follow different beacons even with the realization that some fires may snuff out.
And if mine does, then I’ll be grateful for the time it lit my path. Perhaps I’ll find another. Perhaps I’ll strike out on my own. Or hell, perhaps I’ll just follow the sun and save myself the twinge of bittersweet farewell.
God only knows the better solution.
And last if not least,
Congratulations Sungminnie and Kim Sa Eun! I wish you nothing but the best ❤